In part I of this Finding your Niche series yesterday, Jeremy shared his story. In part II, he shares his lessons and tips on how to find your niche.
1. Tell us a little about your Budget Travel Guides
The Budget Travel Guides are travel tips focused on five different areas to help people create more memorable travel experiences and save money. I’ve discovered that some of my best travel experiences didn’t cost much money and always involved connecting with other people. So these guides are written to help people travel based on my own travel experiences.
So these budget travel guides reflect who I am and how I like to travel.
The topics covered are transportation, food, accommodations, activities, and connecting with locals. I realize that I can’t go everywhere but I do want to help people travel. So these guides are written by travelers who have been to places and know the areas.
If you’ve been to a country, city, region, or landmark and want to write a budget travel guide, I would love to hear from you.
You can find out more on my Budget Travel Guides page.
2. What are you main goals for your blog?
For me, I think these are still a work in progress. I say that because my blog has continued to evolve and change over time. Now that I have a better idea of who I am and where I want to go, I am going to be working on more specific goals for the rest of the year.
While I am still working on my long term goals, here are a few things that are important to me.
I want to build a community and not just an audience for my blog. The interaction is important, not just the eyes on the page. If I reply to a comment on my blog, I try to be very personal. I want to take the time to read, engage, and share. That’s just one example of how I take this interaction and community idea seriously.
I also want to write a book about sports and travel. However, I would also like to write some things to help people travel and connect with their experiences. I want to write life changing posts that inspire people. I want to be open and vulnerable. Here’s a good example of the type of posts I love to write – 9 life lessons I’ve learned as a travel blogger.
As for numbers and other things, I will have more specific goals by the end of the year.
3. As your blog has grown and evolved, how did you find your niche?
For me, it’s been a process. I knew I wanted to write about budget travel but that market is too big and is dominated by Budget Travel and numerous other sites. I had to distinguish myself. However, I’ve had to figure it out as I go so my blog has changed a little over time.
In the last couple of years, I’ve done interviews with travelers, Travel Tuesday question of the week (before there was a #TTOT on Twitter), mountain Monday (which is now very popular on Google +), and “Where in the World am I?” along with destination guides, travel tips, and my personal travel stories.
The more I’ve written, seen what other people do, and learned more about myself, my focus has started to take shape. Honestly, I never considered a sports and travel aspect to the blog until last year despite growing up with sports my entire life.
I found my niche by discovering who I am as a person – my passion, interests, likes, dislikes, successes, and failures. Finding your niche is about finding who you are at a given point in time and having the focus, direction, and passion to share it with others.
4. What advice do you have for other travel writers who are looking to find their niche?
As I’ve stated, this has been a process for me. However, I feel like I’ve learned some things as a result. I have to say thanks to Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads who shared what she learned at the World Domination Summit.
While I don’t feel like an expert on finding your niche, I am happy to share my lessons and tips.
- Know yourself – Know what you enjoy. Focus on your strengths. Be able to express yourself in a way that makes you unique. Find your own voice. If you don’t know where you are going, you can’t expect anyone else to follow you.
- Help others – Your number one goal should be to help others. Write with other people in mind. What that looks like for you will depend on your niche. You can entertain, educate, encourage, inspire, or help them to do something better.
- Focus on what interests you, then pursue your passion – When you start, you will have a lot to learn. Work hard, continue to improve, and develop your skills. No matter how focused you are, you learn a lot about yourself in this process. Once you’ve built a solid brand, use your skills and abilities to pursue what you really love.
- Build a community – From the very beginning, engage people. Ask questions, follow up on comments, ask for feedback, and be open to new ideas and ways to improve. No matter what you write about, many people are following you because they like you. Be real, personable, and vulnerable because the best brands build relationships, not customers or readers.
- Write about what you love, not what’s popular – SEO is very important. However, never write something you don’t really care about just to get hits to your site. Have a focus and direction. The more passionate you are about your subject, the more engaged your audience will be. It doesn’t matter how big or small your audience is, stay loyal to yourself and them.
- Be a part of the community – Engage with people that are a part of your niche and community. Share their posts, comment, connect with them on social media, build relationships, and help them. If you don’t have the answers when people ask you questions, introduce them to someone who can.
- Be patient and persevere – When you first start your blog, you pay attention to the numbers. Remember that you are unique so don’t compare yourself to others. Continue to build your brand, focus on your niche, and produce quality work that helps people. There are no shortcuts to this. Persevere and be patient.
- Be thankful – Have an attitude of gratitude. Whether you have 10 followers or 10 million followers, be grateful to those who support you and enjoy what you are doing. Having that type of attitude will help you through the ups and downs as you share your passion with others.
- Change your niche? – As you get older, life and circumstances change. Maybe you discover a different passion as you enter new stages in life. When you find them, explore them. We are always changing, growing, and evolving. So can your niche.
A massive thanks to Jeremy! Some excellent advice here. Will and I are loving this new series…
Check out his blog Budget Travel Adventures where he writes about budget travel, sports and travel, destinations and tips, hiking, and personal travel stories that inspire and encourage people to live a life that matters. Follow him on Twitter for updates of his travels and forthcoming College Football Tour
If you have some advice to share or a blog to talk about contact us